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Steeling Home

Metalheads unite! The brushed-steel kitchen fixtures you see in every design magazine, custom-built in Chinatown at Home Depot prices.

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If you've always dreamed of your own restaurant-style kitchen but think you need a platinum card to afford the fixings, head for Chinatown's restaurant-supply district. These discounters cater mostly to the pros, but intrepid amateurs are welcome.

New York Store Fixture Company stocks chrome wire shelving by InterMetro Industries. Components are sold individually and can be assembled into anything from work islands and bookcases (mats keep objects from falling through) to custom closets. The industrial system looks similar to cheap chain-store stuff, but it comes in far more sizes and sustains real weight. Shelves cost from $36 (14 inches by 24 inches) to $104 (24 by 72) each, and posts are $8 (7-inch) to $27 (96-inch). Butcher-block-top islands in sizes up to 25 inches by 60 inches (with two shelves and optional casters) are $267 to $537, and stainless-steel shelves can be added.

To customize your Metro unit with drawers, or to craft anything else from stainless steel, stop by Master Restaurant Equipment. A favorite source for Chinatown's hot-dog-cart vendors, the factory is equally happy to make, say, a stainless-steel pet condo for a whimsical sculptor's dog and two cats (a folly that cost him $2,500). Cabinets (with drawers and shelves) are $350 per linear foot, but you can get better deals on things you conjure up and they build to your specs (like desks, sinks, backsplashes, etc.). A floor-to-ceiling bar recently cost $500; ditto for a large pantry. If you think stainless is old hat, forge your fantasies from black steel, a mottled raw form that Amy, Master's manager, is betting will be the next winning metal.

For hardware, head to Design Source, where architects and decorators snap up sleek pulls, knobs, and fixtures at trade prices. Simple steel or chrome-plated handles start at $5; faucets start at $250. Master will add them to your designs.

New York Store Fixture Company, 167 Bowery (226-0044); Master Restaurant Equipment, 165 Chrystie Street (533-2356); Design Source, 115 Bowery (274-0022).

Picks of the Week

J.F. Lazartigue tames the midwinter frizzies with 20 percent off its high-end hair-treatment products. Usually selling from $16 (for Marine shampoo) to $52 (for deep-conditioning treatment), the line is now on sale for $13 to $42. 764 Madison Ave., near 65th St. (288-2250); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon., Tue., Fri. 10-7, Wed.-Thurs. till 8, Sat. till 6; 2/1-2/28.

Michael Kors, Anne Klein, and Ralph Lauren are just a few names in a sale clearing several seasons' worth of leftovers from Saks Fifth Avenue's outlet stores. Everything's 75 to 95 percent off retail. Women's sizes 2 to 20. Parsons School of Design, 560 Seventh Ave., at 40th St.; A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Wed. 9-6:30, Thurs. 9-8, Fri. 9-6, Sat. 10-3; 2/2-2/11.

Baranzelli sells custom upholstered furniture to the public at trade rates or less, from $295 for a twill ottoman to $4,000 for a silk-damask sofa. Now all orders and floor samples are 20 to 25 percent off. Buy an armchair, and an ottoman's half- price. 1127 Second Ave., near 59th St. (753-6511); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.-Sat. 10-5:30; 2/4-2/20.

Liz Lange Maternity has outfitted the likes of Elle Macpherson and Paulina Porizkova in sleek, figure-flattering twin sets, slim coats, and sexy shantung cocktail dresses, with ample tummy space. At her sale, all fall/winter stock is more than half off: Pants and skirts are $85; dresses are $75-$125. 29 E. 61st St., Suite 240 (308-5777); A.E., M.C., V.; Mon.- Sat. 10-5:30; 2/1-2/14.

ALWAYS A DEAL
Get Your Juices Flowing

If you're still pining for the cool steel appliances on your wedding registry that never materialized, there's hope for you yet at Daroma Restaurant Equipment. Hamilton Beach's ice-crushing bar blender with a stainless-steel jug -- Mesa Grill's bar staff likes it for margaritas -- is $100, and a mouthwateringly sleek and heavy citrus juicer is $90. (At Williams-Sonoma, a comparable blender goes for twice as much.) For a cheap trip down memory lane, snap up one of those red plastic lunch trays that make cool sleds ($2). 231 Bowery (260-2463).


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